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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Seasons

The kids are obsessed with the timing of the seasons. They want to know exactly when one season slides into the next, and I think it is fascinating that they notice those things in their lives. I do not recall being aware of the beginning of seasons growing up. I mean, we live in Colorado, and I was lucky enough to grow up here, so I experienced then and experience now all four seasons (however short Spring may appear). My children experience all four seasons, and I cannot imagine living in a place where four seasons do not present themselves for our enjoyment.

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So, here we are, three days into Spring, and I can already feel a shift. Will we see more snow? Yep. It is coming this week even, but for the last three days, I have watched my kids spend more and more time outdoors. They are itching to play in the grass and run and ride bikes. They twirl in the sun and fall to the ground winded and happy. We talk about summer plans: camping and swimming and Friday nights at the Bay. We plan for summer activities and can't wait to spend the mornings running through the sprinkler. Spring is fresh. Lovely. Hopeful. Beautiful.

I am itching to plant something. Even though I kill plants on a regular basis. I want to purge the house. Paint rooms. Redecorate. Hang new pictures. Create. Paint. Make things beautiful.

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The neighbors are outside. Voices float through open windows. Dogs are out again. Popcorn (our neighbor's cat) scavenges once again.

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We are planning hikes and day trips and days to go have lunch with Daddy. The light is longer. The kids are pushing that bedtime clock already. Showers are dirtier. The kids fall into bed satisfyingly exhausted after a good day.

I love this time of year.   


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Writing

I miss writing on a regular basis. I really do. The pull to write hugs me, and sometimes suffocates me until I MUST. DO. SOMETHING. ABOUT. IT.

Like now.

I have felt the need to write for well over a year now. My goals last year included being able to write daily--even if only for a few minutes--but let me tell you where that got me. Not writing.

I can make excuses all day. Little kids. Volunteering at the kid's school. Working a part-time job for a while. I allowed all these things to keep me from writing. So, once again, this year I made a goal to write. Not daily. Just more than I did last year. So, in two more blog posts, I will have accomplished that! Ha!

Honestly, I have big goals when it comes to writing. I would love to make a career out of it. I think I am fairly talented, but like anything, if I am out of practice...the writing will stink.

I thought I would pick up my YA novel I have been plugging away at for the last few years and FINISH!

Alas, not yet. I need the practice. So, here I am. Practicing. On the good ole family blog.

I figure this is a safe space. A really safe space for my to get my chops back. Share some things. Make some things up. Have an opinion. Heaven knows I never express that. (Insert eye roll and listen for my mother's snort.)

So, for now: welcome to my writing space.

Forever,

Jen

Friday, September 21, 2018

When you are--a-hem--(long pause) (uncomfortable silence)...(whispers) fat.

I am going to guess that you have seen this article floating around the Internets by now. (I myself have had many people share it on their Facebook page.) But, in case you have not, here it is: Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong.

This title either intrigues you, or does not, likely depending on whether you yourself are obese, love someone who categorizes as obese, or health and nutrition are your passion or your job.

I fall into the category of All Of The Above.

I am a student of my own body and my own struggle, and for some reason, likely all selfish in nature, I feel the desire to share some of my story and my struggle.

Let me warn those people who are reading this and who love me: some of the things I share here may anger you. And let me state that I know I am not alone in what I am about to share. Okay, disclaimers over...

Articles like these will HOPEFULLY help the medical world better understand the science of losing weight. Or not losing weight. Or just understand that sometimes, being obese does not equate to being sick all the time. I have had the most interesting conversations happen AROUND me while visiting the doctor. And other things said to me that were so insulting, I was stunned to silence. And here we go:

1. How much did you weigh as a senior in high school? (180) Oh, you were a big girl!
2. Doctor to student observing my appointment: Would you rather have an obese pregnant patient who is relatively healthy or a patient who is pregnant but suffers from -------? Student: An obese healthy patient. Doctor: Right, and we are lucky to be working with one of those today.
3. Nurse to me after birth of my son: You know you probably won't see your milk come in any time soon because of the obesity thing, right? (For the record, it came in within 36 hours).

Articles like these will never help with Fat Shaming--because those who fat shame don't care why you are fat, just that you are and they don't think you should be. So, those who say,

1. When did they start letting fat girls in here?
2. It is such a good thing you are funny and fun.
3. Every guy should date a fat girl, they do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to please you. They are just so grateful!

JUST STOP SAYING THOSE THINGS! THEY ARE HORRIBLE.

Articles like these sometimes allow me to better understand my body, so I have the ability to push away things that have been said that I don't think were meant to hurt, but did.

1. Don't cut your hair short. It will make you look bigger.
2. I am surprised that Nick likes you so much because I thought he liked smaller girls.
3. Your body could look so good, Jen.

Look, I loved this article. I read every word that reaffirmed to me that what I have long suspected to be true is, in fact, true. I don't love how I look. I have stopped looking in full length mirrors for longer than a few seconds to make sure my clothes are on correctly. I have been smaller than I am now, but at my smallest in the last 15 years, I was spending crazy amounts of money and working out with a personal trainer two or three times a week. I worked, went to the gym, and ate next to nothing. And people LOVED me at that weight. My confidence was sky high, but I ran out of money and took a month off from training with my trainer, and GAINED TEN POUNDS. Still eating next to nothing. Still working out daily. One month. Ten pounds.

So, do I need to learn more about my body and how it works? I do! I know I could benefit from meeting with a real and actual dietitian/nutritionist. Guys, we probably all can. Mostly, I just think this world needs a little more love and a lot more understanding. And read the article. It is long, but it is fascinating. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Reading

Okay.I love to read, and I am so excited to have been introduced to the wonderful Bookstagram community on Instagram this past year. It is no secret that I am involved with a few book clubs: one with my mom and sisters that is embarking on our fourth year of reading and monthly chats via Google Hangout about our selection for the month. You guys. This family book club is one of my favorite things ever, and I highly recommend that you start one with your family. Then, I am also involved with a book club with my girlfriends from church which is as much a social club as it is a book club, and SOMETIMES we even discuss the book for the month.

I mention these because I hope to come on here and review the books I get to read each month with these ladies! Hopefully, I will get me act together and read my goal for the year (which is what should be an easy 30 books, BUT...you know, life).

The books I had the privilege of reading this month were, The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce and Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I loved them both, but for different reasons, so let me dive in a little here.

Pic from Goodreads


The Music Shop was the pick for the Mahan Girl's Book Club this month, and while I struggled to get into the book initially, once I got further into the story, I rather enjoyed it. The secondary characters are my favorite part! They are a motley crew of misfits who find one another and care for one another as their world both literally and figuratively falls apart around them. The music shop where Frank operates and Ilse appears, is the home for their wants, desires, aches, pains, and especially their love. Frank, who had a mother who couldn't love him any way except through music, has a talent for finding just the right song for his customers. His obsession with vinyl is making his shop and his philosophies less and less relevant as everyone is converting to CD's. He makes many efforts to save his store and his people only to have it all fall apart on the same day he runs from the mysterious Ilse--who first fainted in front of the shop and flits in and out before asking Frank to teach her all he knows about music. The ending of this book is wonderful, and I would very much recommend that you read it.

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio is the story of August Pullman who is about to go to middle school--well, any school for the first time. Auggie has a facial deformity that has a very technical medical name and very technical descriptions of why he was born this way, but I will let you read it. He is a great kid who has much to overcome and manages to make some really great friends along the way. I read this on my own in a day. It moves super fast, and I could not put it down. This is a book that I look forward to reading with my kids as they get older. This one is my first FIVE STAR read of the year, and I highly recommend reading it!

If you are so inclined, follow momma_reads_alot on Instagram for all things literary related in my life! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Year in Review 2017

Merry Christmas to all our friends. We are sending Christmas cards, but I wanted to leave our year in review for those of you who are interested in the happenings of the Colorado Sadler clan.

Nick is finishing up his first full calendar year at High Country Executive Search, and I have never seen him happier in his job. He loves his work as an Executive Recruiter, and we have honestly been so blessed by his job, his company, and the people with whom he works. They took a major chance on Nick when they hired him, and he is thriving in this new career! At church, he continues to teach once a month and to be a leader at a support group through church on Thursday nights. He is amazing in his devotion. And at home, Nick is the best dad to our (now) four cuties. Our children love their dad, and Beau walks around everyday saying,"Momma, Daddy at work? Be right back." and "Daddy? My Daddy?" They are the best buddies.



Jen (so me) is now the frantic mother of four, and every day is a grand new adventure. The first half of the year was filled with me getting more and more pregnant, lots of tests as there was some concern over the placement of baby girl's placenta, and then Cami's terrifying and dramatic entrance into this world. Then life in the NICU for (thankfully) just a few weeks, and then a summer filled with trying to balance the big kids and a newborn on oxygen. For now, it feels as if things have settled, and I am doing my best to be a more involved mom this school year. PTO, SAC committee, field trips, and having more of a presence in the big girl's school life has been my focus for the last part of the year. Usually with the little people in tow. We are so blessed to have an amazing school community, and I am doing my best to support that community in any way that I can.



Quincy ended her kindergarten year with a flourish. It felt as if she was really just getting started when the school year ended. She worked hard over the summer to become a little more independent since Mom was preoccupied with new baby a good portion of the time. She also has now lost six teeth, and we are still waiting on four grown up teeth to make their appearance. And then first grade hit, and this girl has had the most amazing school year! She is reading like a champ! She loves math! She comes home at least once a week with a new FIRE sticker (school reward system), and leaves school daily with a huge smile! My momma heart soars!


Tessa spent the last half of her last preschool year dreaming about kindergarten. She loved preschool, but was tired of being home half the day and all day Mondays while big sister was off having grand adventures. Tessa did, however, become Beau's best friend during this time. She is our little mother, and she loves looking after all the people smaller than her. She has the same teacher for kindergarten that Quincy did, and felt comfortable right away in her new environment. She loves to learn, but her friends are the most important part of her school day. She is looking forward to losing a tooth even though none are lose yet.  



Beau has grown so much this year. He's talking like a mad man--adding new words to his vocabulary daily. He loves his sisters, and generally refers to all his people as "My _______." He is fiercely protective of Cami and his mom, but ADORES his Tessa and loves to torment his Quincy. Daddy is his favorite person and he loudly announces Dad's arrival home every day. He finally will stay in nursery at church by himself, and he loves playing with the balls at gymnastics on Mondays. He already takes his role as ONLY BOY very seriously, and I imagine that will only increase as he ages. 


Cami, as you know, is our latest addition. Joining us a bit earlier than expected on May 24th, we have reveled in the miracle that is this little girl. Finally off her oxygen after almost six months with that accessory, she is loving her life tube free! We spend lots of time doing the best we can to make her smile. She loves to babble. She loves to eat, and she is the best snuggler. We are venturing into the world of solid foods, and working with a physical therapist to help her catch up a little with her gross motor skills. She is making great progress and should be sitting unassisted in no time! We love this final addition to our family so very much, and I still stare at her in amazement sometimes overwhelmed by the fact that she is here and healthy. 


We hope that 2017 was an amazing year for you and your families! We look forward to the possibilities that 2018 holds for us all. Merry Christmas! 

XOXO, 

The Sadlers

Friday, September 8, 2017

Grandpa

My mom makes a calendar for us every year. She puts together photos comprised of events that took place during that month the year prior. I love this, as it allows me to relish highlights and see what my sibs were up to this time last year as well. This month, Mom included a quote "When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

This day has become a family treasure.

Last year on this day we celebrated the 78th birthday of my Grandpa Gray, and honestly, we all knew it would be the last one we would have with him. Around this time last year, I was compelled to take my family over the mountain one last time to get some extra time in with Grandpa--but we can actually take this story back to six or so months before then.

Grandpa is not the first grandparent I have lost, and sometimes, one of those grandparents will visit my dreams. I had a very real dream where my Gram shared a message with me in a conversation we had--you need to get ready. It felt like a gentle warning and a tender mercy as I still feel lots of guilt over not going to see her when I felt I should before we lost her unexpectedly. Admittedly, when I woke up, I had no idea to what she was referring. Until suddenly I did.

Standing in my kitchen a few days after the dream, I looked out the window and knew. Grandpa. Maybe I started to pay more attention. Or maybe the older adults had just kept how quickly Grandpa was declining a secret until they could not anymore. But all I know is that his health, already not great, seemed to decline rapidly.

So, around this time last year, I NEEDED to be in Grand Junction. So, we went. And we spent some hours at the house. And my kids were so good. And Grandpa laughed and smiled as much as he could manage. I don't know if it was good or purely selfish on my part that we went. I didn't take a single picture of that visit. All I wanted to do was sit close. I wanted to listen to his stories and watch him laugh at his great grandchildren. I needed to hug him and tell him I loved him one last time--face to face.

And I am so glad that I did.




Monday, August 21, 2017

The Start of School

As you can imagine, we had a pretty chaotic yet quiet summer this year. Visitor after visitor came and spent time entertaining my big ones while I tended to new baby. But we didn't really get to do much or go lots of places. My kids are the best though, and Quincy, Tessa and Beau spent hours playing together and entertaining me while doing so.

So, now we are at the beginning of the school year. Cami is almost three months old--still on her oxygen--and doing really well. Beau is about to lose his best friend, Tessa, to all day kindergarten, and this mom is afraid that this means that my life is about to become a little crazier keeping up with my energetic two-year-old. We'll survive it just fine, but Beau has already tried to follow sister into school. He even hugged me good-bye on Tessa's first half-day. Sorry, kid. Not your turn yet.

This girl has had a great start to first grade already! We got the teacher we hoped for, and she already knows her because Mrs. Moroze was Q's preschool teacher before moving to first grade last year. So, she knows what to expect. And Mrs. Moroze knows my quirky Quincy. She got a FIRE sticker the first day of school (which is a school-wide reward system) and it seems that every day is better than the last. I think it is wonderful that Quincy is so excited to be a big first grader. She told me that she already feels like a scientist as they are learning about science. She won't get more specific that just science, and when her dad asked what she was learning about in science, her response was, "Uh, science," (Duh, Dad!)

This crazy independent girl is beyond excited to be in school all day just like her big sister. Tessa has been ready for this for so long, and I am thrilled that she loves school so much already. Her teacher is the same teacher Quincy had last year, so Tessa already feels very comfortable with her. Tessa has two half-days to learn how Kindergarten works and then she starts full days. She has friends from preschool in her class, and she is excited to make new friends. On the first day she asked me twice if I could go ahead and leave so she could get down to business. Yep. That's my girl.

We are so proud of these girls. We had a long talk together about being kind and courageous this year. We talked about making friends and how to include everyone. Then, I watched my Q take the hand of her hesitant friend on the first day and march confidently into school. I have watched both my girls run and hug their friends and then turn to introduce themselves to new friends. I am so proud of the little people that they are. Cheers to a glorious new school year!